TOKA HOMES III
TOKA Homes III in the San Xavier District of the Tohono O’odham Nation, AZ, has won a 2020 Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award the Rural Category.
Developed by Tohono O’odham Ki:Ki Association (TOKA), TOKA Homes III provides 38 new affordable homes on the rural Tohono O’odham Reservation.
To better meet the needs of families with children and multigenerational families, TOKA Homes III consists of one- and two-bedroom townhomes and three- and four-bedroom single-family homes. Of the 38 new homes, 24 serve families with children, two of the townhomes are ADA accessible and one of the single-family units can accommodate those who are sensory impaired. The development is located near tribal services and amenities, a grocery store, health center, public park, public library, high-quality primary education and public transportation. Also available to residents is before and after-school educational assistance, financial literacy classes, computer training and job training. Door-to-door transportation services are also provided at no cost. All services are coordinated by a part-time resident services coordinator, with an office located in the property’s community center, to help improve tenants’ quality of life. The property also includes a playground, basketball court and barbecue area.
Important to the O’odham is the development’s “Colonial Barrio” design that is stylistically similar to the nearby San Xavier Spanish Mission, built in 1692. Travois architects included culturally significant features in the design: vibrant colors, shaded areas, outdoor patio space, unique door and window frames, and natural wood elements. The homes also include various sustainable development features, including locally sourced materials, and the development process included the preservation of 200 saguaro and barrel cactuses and 20 pineapple cactuses, an endangered species.
This property was made possible through the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit), which was awarded by the Arizona Department of Housing and resulted in $8.7 million from American Express, syndicated by Red Stone Equity Partners. Travois, Inc. served as the architect and provided consultancy services and Kappcon served as the general contractor.
Recognition from U.S. Representative Raul Grijalva (D-AZ-03)
Representative Raul Grijalva (D-AZ-03) provided TOKA Homes III with a letter of congratulations, in which he wrote, “The Tohono O’odham Ki:Ki Association has been an essential part of the Tohono O’odham Nation for over fifty years. Thanks to their efforts, the Tohono O’odham people are leading the way in innovative solutions to providing high-quality, affordable housing to their people. With COVID-19 ravaging tribal communities and an eviction crisis looming on the horizon across the country, urgent solutions are needed to ensure affordable housing for everyone. The TOKA Homes III development is emblematic of the creativity we need at this time. It’s an example of the Tohono O’odham’s commitment to affordable housing that not just provides working families with houses, but a community. I want to commend them for this tremendous honor and look forward to continuing to work with my tribal partners to ensure affordable housing for everyone.”